Backyard Iced Tea Is A Refreshing Way To Use Spiced Rum

Today, we're introducing another type of bevy to your radar for all of your warm-weather parties and barbecues: Backyard Iced Tea. It is a playful, accessible, low-maintenance rum cocktail and requires less prep time than sangria. However, it delivers a more sophisticated presentation than a loose ladle in a nondescript bowl ambiguously labeled "punch."

Backyard Iced Tea is a combination of spiced rum, lemonade, and iced tea, stirred and served over ice in a highball glass. It's basically a boozy Arnold Palmer starring rum — which is fittingly the base of most tiki drinks. The bevy is a thrifty superstar, as far as mixed drinks go. The most expensive ingredient needed is the spiced rum, which (depending on the brand you select) tends to be one of the more affordable full-proof spirits on liquor store shelves. A 750-milliliter bottle of spiced rum by popular, reliable brands like Captain Morgan, Bacardi, or Sailor Jerry runs in the $20-$30 range.

Lemonade and iced tea can be easily prepared at home with lemons, sugar, water, and a few tea bags. Or, if you're in a rush, whipping up a pitcherful of Backyard Iced Tea can be as simple as cracking open bottles of store-bought lemonade and iced tea. 

A blank canvas for your mixology imagination

To nail that refreshing, boozy flavor, opt for unsweetened iced tea. The rum and lemonade already have the sweetness department covered. On the same note, if you're using store-bought lemonade, opt for one without too many additives or sugars. A syrupy lemonade will act like an artificial sour mix in a drink — great if you're in the '80s, but for the discerning cocktail fan, not a super welcome flavor. What we're going for in the Backyard Iced Tea is a touch of tartness to balance the spiced rum.

Backyard Iced Tea is highly customizable, and you can use whatever type of tea you'd like. Try making a pitcherful with floral hibiscus tea, earthy Japanese sencha green tea, or even herbaceous red rooibos. Get creative with your garnish, too. A fresh calendula flower, rosemary sprig, basil or mint leaves, lavender, a ginger knuckle, sugared lemon wedge, orange wheel, half a plum, or a maraschino cherry skewer would all fit nicely.